Introducing... Bedsit Games - BN1 & ZomBN1
Meet Paul, the creator of Bedsit Games. Bedsit games are well known in Brighton for their Brighton based board games, BN1 and ZomBN1. You'll be able to buy these games at our Brighton events this Christmas on Sunday 12th November and Saturday 9th December! These unique games will make the perfect addition in your board game collection and we think the ZomBN1 will be ideal for The Walking Dead fan in your family! Read on to find out more...
How did you start out?
Prior to making board games I was a cartoonist for about 10 years. Towards the end I started working on a web-comic called BN1, which was a series of strips about Brighton. It hit the ground running which was really encouraging, and ran for about 2 years. Towards the end of its tenure I started thinking about how I could combine comics (or at least illustration) with my other big interest which was gaming, and the idea of a BN1 board game came about.
By then the comic had a following, and it didn't take long once ideas got batted around the Facebook page to realise Brighton has loads of potential to transposed into a board game, not least because it's laid out like a gigantic maze. So it went from there. Initially it was going to be a really short run, 100 copies or so, done from my bedroom as I'd always favoured the DIY approach, but when the orders started flying in, I realised it had to be done properly. In the end the 1st print sold out of its 500 copies in just under a month. If only every Christmas could be like that!
How has your business developed since?
It's hit its stride now. The games seem to have a good degree of local recognition and a surprising amount sell further afield. I guess a lot of people have some history with Brighton, even if it's only fleeting.
I'm currently waiting for the 2nd edition of ZomBN1 (which is the zombie infested follow-up to BN1) to arrive from the printers. This is the 5th major release for Bedsit Games, and to sate the DIY desire I mentioned earlier, I've also done a couple of smaller games (also Brighton-themed) which come in a zip-up polythene bag. They're designed to be quick and portable, and were inspired in part by a company from years ago called Cheap Ass Games who just put a set of instructions in an envelope with a list of bits you'd need to pilfer from other games in your collection, and sold them for a dollar.
The main development for me is what I've learnt in game design since I started, chiefly from making sure I play as many of every type of board game I can. It's ace when you can pass your hobby off as research.
What's your favourite thing to create?
Well most recently, the latest minigame, ZomBN1: Sewage Panic. There's a lot less pressure with making the minigames as they're a short run, so if anything goes wrong you haven't spent the best part of fifteen grand getting them made. Also they appeal to the fanzine nerd in me, as they're more like small press than a full-fledged release.
That said, I find the whole creating process of building a game very enjoyable. It's satisfying when the pieces click together and the engine starts working. There are frustrations along the way, usually during playtesting when ideas you swore would work are actually boring and counter-intuitive.
What do you love most about attending craft fairs?
I love the buzz of high finance of course, but more so the sense of community - it feels like a yearly get together with other stall holders who you might not have seen for months. And I love chatting to people, showing folk the games and also hearing feedback from people who have played it (positive or otherwise). Also the onset of craft fairs means Christmas is on the way which is also splendid.
In fact what I enjoy most is parents telling me that BN1 got their kids into board games and they now play Pandemic, Ticket To Ride, Arkham Horror and Fall of the Third Reich with the best of them.
Will you be offering anything special at our event?
Well I'll have a lot of brand new bits for sale - the 2nd edition of ZomBN1 of course, plus the minigame. I've also done some very limited framed ZomBN1 prints which will be on sale for the first time. And of course I'll be running demos of the game throughout the day.
And don't forget to follow Bedsit Games on: